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Virat Kohli ploughs a lonely furrow vs NZ

- McClenaghan takes four as hosts win by 24 runs
Corey Anderson in a punishing mood, on Sunday

Napier: Virat Kohli’s exhilarating hundred went in vain as New Zealand staged a dramatic turnaround to pull off a thrilling 24-run win in the first one-dayer against India to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, here, at the McLean Park, on Sunday.

In pursuit of a formidable target of 293, India seemed on track for a victory with Kohli (123 off 110 balls) anchoring the chase with his 18th ODI century. However, pacer Mitchell McClenaghan’s three-wicket burst in just 11 balls changed the complexion of the game completely.

From a comfortable 224 for five, the Indians were all out for 268 in 48.4 overs with McClenaghan being the wrecker-in-chief with a match haul of four for 68.

Earlier, electing to bowl, India’s inconsistent bowling effort helped New Zealand pile up 292 for seven. For the Kiwis, apart from McClenaghan, Corey Anderson shone with an all-round effort, scoring 68 runs off 40 deliveries before knocking off two wickets in his 10 overs of medium-pace bowling.

Tim Southee and Adam Milne gave Anderson good support, even as the latter walked off mid-way in the 41st over with a side-strain.

Put in to bat, half-centuries from Anderson, Kane Williamson (71) and Ross Taylor (55) helped the hosts reach an impsing total. However, the brightest star of the match ended up in the losing side.

Kohli found no support from the other batsmen, none of who managed to reach the 50-run mark.

In fact, the first wicket fell when India were yet to hit a boundary in their repl. Rohit Sharma eventually holed out to Southee off a short ball from McClenaghan in the sixth over.

The first 10 overs yielded only 43. Dhawan’s tried to be the more aggressive of the two, but struggled with his timing. His dismissal in the 19th over reflected as much, a mistimed pull off a short ball from Anderson.

It turned out to be a huge blow for the hosts as the partnership was developing well at that point of time. Dhawan’s dismissal resulted in two more quick wickets with Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina back in the hut within the next 10 overs. At the other end, Kohli, however, remained unfazed.

He and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who became the first Indian wicket-keeper and the fourth overall to effect 300 dismissals in ODIs — pouching Taylor’s nick off Mohammed Shami’s bowling — then began the repair work to try and bring India out of the hole. Dhoni started slowly, but accelerated later as Kohli and he put on 95 runs for the fifth wicket off just 85 balls. (PTI)